The mission of the Advocacy Committee is to lead Temple Israel involvement in social and political advocacy, in keeping with our Jewish values and the increasing emphasis which the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is placing on helping congregations perform the work of Tikkun Olam.
The committee works with HIAS and the Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW)) on immigrant rights and refugee resettlement. It coordinates and joins in the advocacy work of the Religious Action Center (RAC), of the URJ, in particular RAC-NY which unites Reform Congregations around NY State to advocate for our values in the NY state legislature. It focuses on climate change, and is working on formulating a climate action plan for Temple Israel, covering building and maintenance issues, recycling and working with the entire community on climate justice and sustainability. We will be active in our local community and available to the Temple Israel community to help organize and take action on issues important to members.
Attend the committee’s open meetings or participate in a planned event or action. For more information or to get involved, please contact co-chairs: Todd Brecher or Howard Horowitz. The Advocacy Committee meets monthly at Temple Israel or a members’ homes.
Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW) is a volunteer-run organization founded by six faith-based organizations (including Temple Israel) in Westchester County. To date, ICNAW has resettled three refugee families over the past two years. The most recent family arrived in February 2020.
ICNAW consists of: Temple Israel of New Rochelle, Beth El Synagogue Center, Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, Interfaith Council of New Rochelle and Temple Israel Center. Over 150 volunteers work to support ICNAW’s efforts.
ICNAW works closely with HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) to bring over the new families. The Ghafoor Family arrived in November 2017 and continue to successfully acclimate to their lives in the US. To see a snapshot of the Ghafoors first year visit www.tinyurl.com/TheGhafoorFamily.
Donations are accepted on an ongoing basis 100% of the funds donated to the ICNAW have an immediate positive impact in the form of rent, food, medical care and education. In addition to your humanitarian action there is also a positive economic benefit as family members quickly enter employment and begin to pay taxes on income, and pay into Medicare and Social Security. Long term the benefits are even greater as the funds contribute to the growth and well-being of the country.
To donate make all checks out to Beth EL Synagogue Center. Write “ICNAW” in the memo section. Mail to: Beth El Synagogue Center, 1324 North Ave, New Rochelle 10804 OR visit www.tinyurl.com/SupportLocalRefugees to donate online
Thank you to all who have donated and volunteered. Temple Israel’s efforts have contributed to ICNAW’s success in resettling all three families. Visit www.tinyurl.com/TheGhafoorFamily to see how the Ghafoor Family is acclimating.